At least 11 fighters with alleged links to al-Qaeda have been killed in an air strike in Yemen, according to local residents and tribal officials.

Local residents told the Reuters news agency on Tuesday that an unidentified drone carried out the attack on two vehicles travelling east of the city of Loder in Abyan province in southern Yemen.

A tribal leader said at least four of those killed were local al-Qaeda leaders, according to Reuters.

Tribal officials speaking to the AFP news agency reported four raids in which up to 15 people were killed.

"We think they were carried out by American planes," a tribal official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity and without elaborating.

Three of the raids targeted a school in which al-Qaeda fighters and local fighters were meeting around midnight, while a fourth strike targeted an al-Qaeda control post, sources told AFP. 

Al-Qaeda-linked groups have reportedly used Yemen’s political turmoil to gain foothold in the south of the Arabian Peninsula country.

Source: Agencies